MG 435 - Burd Collection

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Scope and Content

The collection contains a list of materials for the construction of the home of Colonel James Burd named "Tinian," which was built in 1767; a brochure with a description of the home and a short biography of Colonel Burd; family correspondence, 1768, 1777, 1783, including two letters written by Sarah Burd to her daughter, Sally, and a letter written by Edward Burd to his father, James Burd.


James Burd was born in Scotland and came to America in 1747 at the age of 21. He married Sarah Shippen, daughter of Edward Shippen, a mayor of Philadelphia and later a prominent citizen of Lancaster. James Burd was a merchant for some years in Philadelphia, but later moved his family west and became involved in the French and Indian War. He rose from captain to colonel in a few years, and by the close of the war was senior officer of the Pennsylvania forces. He bought 500 acres of land in 1766 two miles from Middletown along the Susquehanna River and built his home, which he named "Tinian." He served as justice of the peace, was active in the church, and was chairman of the committee that drafted the Middletown Resolutions opposing restrictive laws passed by Parliament. At the time of his death in 1793 he was serving as one of the county judges for Dauphin County. Sarah Shippen Burd died in 1784; both are buried in the Middletown Cemetery.

Date(s): 1768-1976

Extent: 2 folders, 6 enclosures